[smalltalk-central] Templates

Mark D. Roberts mroberts at cincom.com
Fri Sep 29 01:59:14 BST 2006

At 03:05 AM 9/29/2006, David Buck wrote:
>>As an aside, i know this is a volunteer group, with a budget of $0, but 
>>would it be worth a little money to hire a real graphic artist to give us 
>>some sort of standard "template" in the documents that are going on the 
>>site? Tutorials, papers, screen cast intros like what David's working on.  etc.
>>We might be able to save ourselves some time and effort over "look and 
>>feel" if we do.
>That call is really up to Bob.  I'd suggest that we don't hold back on 
>producing content just because we don't have a standard template.  We can 
>always adjust the material later to include the template if and when we 
>get one.

I strongly agree that we could save ourselves time and get good results by 
hiring a graphic designer. If it's a question of contacts, I can provide some.

I also agree that we should not stop producing textual content for lack of 
a standard template. I've done templates before and can suggest the basic 
points. Our requirements are not very complicated: titles, body paragraphs, 
code examples, block quotes, lists, etc. That said, I think it should be a 
priority to get a real designer involved.

We will also need to convert the site to use CSS for page layout. This is a 
big job that will involve touching all of the server pages. I'd like to try 
and reproduce the existing design in CSS, but make the site skinnable and 
provide one other style. The "look" will be an option in the user's profile.

Once the site has been converted to CSS, it would make sense to revisit the 
use of server pages and maybe port the application to use Seaside. This is 
also a fairly big job.

I have looked a little bit at Seaside but am still not sure if it's 
possible to get rid of the ugly URLs. For an information site like 
Smalltalk-Central, I think the URLs should be clean. It seems possible, but 
I have yet to see a clear explanation from the Seaside community about 
this. I am really turned off by the Seasider attitude of quibbling and hand 
waving about such things (Smalltalk would probably fare better in the world 
if our community dropped its attitude, stopped trying to argue with others 
about *their* requirements, and just delivered the goods).

One obvious benefit of going with Seaside is that everything in the site 
application could then go under Smalltalk SCM, and we wouldn't have to 
figure out some hybrid solution involving CVS + Store.


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